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Song for Almeyda and Song for Anninho

Gayl Jones

3 Reviews

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Poetry

From the acclaimed author of Corregidora, this volume contains poems in the voices of the lovers Almeyda and Anninho, two fugitive slaves in 17th-century Brazil; a continuation of the unforgettable journey of the characters of Gayl Jones's masterwork, Palmares (2021)

'Jones's great achievement is to reckon with both history and interiority, and to collapse the boundary between them' Anna Wiener, The New Yorker

Two poems twine around each other in this volume - they are the love songs of two fugitive slaves in 17th-century Brazil. Their voices continue the unforgettable journey recounted in Gayl Jones's masterwork, Palmares (2021).

Jones renders the saga of Palmares, a foundational tale in the annals of colonial terrorism and Black resistance, in verse, told in the voices of the characters in her epic novel Palmares.

In the late 17th century, the fugitive slave enclave of Palmares was destroyed by Portuguese colonists. Amid the flight and re-enslavement of Palmares's inhabitants emerges the love story of Almeyda and Anninho. In Song for Anninho, Almeyda moves between a dark present, in which she is once again enslaved by a terrible captor, and memories of her lover, Anninho, whom she believes to have been killed. Song for Almeyda is told in the voices of Anninho and his fellow warriors.

Brimming with intimacy, history, and revolution, the poems collected serve as a declaration of decolonial love.

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Praise for Song for Almeyda and Song for Anninho

  • Gayl Jones's work represents a watershed in American literature. From a literary standpoint, her form is impeccable; from a historical standpoint, she stands at the very cutting edge of understanding the modern world, and as a Black woman writer, her truth-telling, filled with beauty, tragedy, humour, and incisiveness, is unmatched. Jones is a writer's writer, and her influence is found everywhere

  • A literary giant, and one of my absolute favourite writers - Tayari Jones

  • Palmares is an odyssey, one woman's search first for a place, and then for a person . . . a story woven with extraordinary complexity, depth and skill; in many ways: holy . . . [it] is the first of five new works by Gayl Jones to come in the next two years. After suffering the author's absence for far too long, we - the witnesses longing for texts like hers, the borderline sacred - can rejoice at her return - New York Times

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